Sunday, December 21, 2014

A very last minute Christmas gift guide: music DVDs

With just a few days to go before Christmas arrives, you might need some assistance to get the perfect gift. With that in mind, here are some recommended DVDs and Blu-rays for the major music enthusiast on your shopping list. Most titles are available at major music retailers like and


Artist: Depeche Mode
Title: Live in Berlin (Columbia)
The Lowdown: In 2013, the veteran British synth-rock act toured around the world in support of 13th studio album Delta Machine. Shot over the course of two German concerts at 02 World Forum late that year, this deluxe lift-off box set encompasses 2 DVDs and CDs plus a 5.1 mix on Blu-ray of the album (there is also a standalone 2CD package).

Directed by longtime visual collaborator Anton Corbijn, the 2 hour+ gig opens with the musicians in a group huddle and giving high fives as they prepare to go onstage. Lithe singer Dave Gahan, clad in shiny black leather, pirouettes across the stage to the fittingly ominous strains of “Welcome to My World.” He hops around and lifts the microphone stand skyward on “Walking in My Shoes” as transfixing shapes flash on the big screens. Gahan’s deep voice is sonorous as ever, while Martin Gore’s chugging electric guitar work make 1986’s “A Question of Time” among many highlights here.

Others include “Black Celebration,” “Enjoy the Silence” (a disturbing contortionist pileup is projected on the screens), an electrifying “Personal Jesus” (with Gore’s slow teasing guitar and a shirtless Gahan totally giving it his all), a sparse, cinematic “Halo” (accompanied by austere images), “Just Can’t Get Enough” and the usual main show closer: an extended “Never Let Me Down Again,” where the guys onstage are obviously having a good time.

DVD2 is titled “Alive in Berlin” and consists of a version of the same show combined with 15 band interviews and fan feedback (several followers say their whole life revolves around DM) and behind-the-scenes footage. The bonus material is a real trip: Gore plaintively sings “Condemnation” and “Judas” accompanied by Peter Gordeno on piano at Salon Bel Ami, an old brothel in Berlin. A mysterious bored-looking woman watches. The regular album mix on Blu-ray is crisper than on CD.

Artist: Peter Gabriel 
Title: Back to Front: Live in London (Eagle Vision) 
The Lowdown: Having caught the Southern California stop on this tour at the Hollywood Bowl in 2012 (one of my top 10 shows of that year), I was very curious to see if London was equally stunning. It was. 

No stranger to elaborate, mind-blowing staging dating back to his 1970s time in Genesis, Gabriel rarely disappoints. Directed by Hamish Hamilton and co-produced by Done+Dusted, this 2 hour, 15 minute show was filmed at over two nights at the 02 in Oct. 2013 and features 21 songs. The opening minutes find Gabriel doing a voiceover about how he has a “persona I adopt when I’m up there, which is different than my offstage persona. In some ways, it’s a mask…a means to open up and express myself.” 

Gabriel takes the 02 stage and likens the show to a fine three-course meal, with acoustic and electronic-based sets followed by the entire 1986 multi-platinum album So – performed by the original band. Playing piano, Gabriel and company put enticing new spins on “Shock the Monkey and “Come Talk to Me,” while the plugged-in “Digging in the Dirt” and “Solsbury Hill” are made even more stunning by innovative lighting. Once “Red Rain” begins, the previous gray tones turn to vibrant color. Everything is a joyous (“Sledgehammer,” “Big Time”) and intriguing (“Don’t Give Up,” “Biko,” where the band gradually stops playing one by one) ride from there. 

Bonus material includes The Visual Approach, a six-minute interview with Gabriel and tour production/lighting designer Rob Sinclair, who explain how they used a lighting rig from the original So tour (Gabriel apparently stores all his old tour gear in garages) and more details.

Artist: Genesis
Title: Three Sides Live (Eagle Vision)
The Lowdown: The original 1982 Three Sides Live holds a special place for me since it was the first Genesis release I owned on cassette in junior high. This past fall, the five original band members were interviewed in a room together for the first time since 1998 for BBC documentary “Together and Apart.”

A segment dealing with the late ‘70s period after Peter Gabriel and then Steve Hackett left and the remaining trio start to hit the pop and rock charts was especially interesting. That’s where Three Sides Live comes in. Shot at various venues on Genesis’ 1981 North American tour, the set list mostly focused on material off Duke and Abacab.

The concert film - available for the first time alone on DVD and for the first time ever on Blu-ray - has now been fully restored. Clocking in at 83 minutes, ample gig preparation and interview footage is shown between live songs. Phil Collins takes listener calls from a NYC radio station; he also fields in-depth questions from a journalist with Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. As for the music: there are top-notch performances throughout.

Collins does a spirited delivery on “Turn it on Again” and “Abacab,” shaking maracas on the latter as Daryl Stuermer makes guitar jabs. Other standouts: the horn–laden “No Reply at All,” “Me and Sarah Jane” (the footage is from a smaller gig at NYC’s The Savoy)” and “Misunderstanding.” The bonus content includes seven audio only tracks, including three not in the main feature: “One for the Vine,” “Fountain of Salmacis,” “Follow You Follow Me.”
Artist: Yes
Title: Songs from Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (Eagle Vision)
The Lowdown: The last major Yes tour featuring founding vocalist Jon Anderson was among their best (I can attest since I saw it at San Diego State University in 2004). Originally broadcast on PBS-TV as part of the Soundstage series, this impressive 2DVD release was filmed at UMass-Lowell’s Tsongas Center that same year. The lineup of Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White performed a technically brilliant, two-hour, 24-minute show.

A professorial Howe vigorously plays pedal steel on “Going for the One” and displays nimble guitar work on “Yours is No Disgrace” and Anderson’s vocals are enchanting as always during a celebratory “I’ve Seen All Good People” (dispatched early).    

There is some good-natured banter between the musicians and frequent crowd shots. Several ‘70s prog rock classics like “Long Distance Runaround,” “Wondrous Stories” and “Roundabout” (where Wakeman’s piano playing shines on the Chicago blues shuffle revamp) work surprisingly well in the acoustic set. 

Bonus material includes a nearly half hour performance of “Ritual” and a seven-minute 2004 interview with MSN Music about Roger Dean’s inflatable stage design. “It’s about creating an abstract world,” he says.

DVD2 encompasses a 2004 gig at the Lugano Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The rainy, outdoor 79-minute set is done sans Dean’s props and most notable for Squire and Howe’s light touch instrumental showcase on “The Fish.”
Artist: Alabama & Friends
Title: At the Ryman (Eagle Vision)
The Lowdown: Old school country fans were excited (and justifiably so) when Alabama reunited in 2011 following an extended hiatus. After doing selected gigs, the group – minus drummer Mark Herndon - finally toured outside its native South and did a solid co-headlining set at Stagecoach Fest ’12 in Indio, Calif. The all-star tribute album Alabama & Friends album came out last year.

This companion DVD was filmed at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The picture is so sharp that you almost feel like you’re at the show. Seriously. The 90-minute set saw guests Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Trisha Yearwood, Florida Georgia Line, Jamey Johnson and The Eli Young Band all reprise their album roles live. Lead singer/guitarist Randy Owen is in a real good mood. Guitarist/fiddler Jeff Cook, on the other hand, seems like he’d rather be anywhere else.

Sublime Yearwood-assisted ballad “Forever’s As Far As I’ll Go” prompted this astonished response from him: “That was the first time I forgot the words to my own song!” Bryan seems nervous during “Love in the First Degree,” but pulls it off. Johnson proves a good fit on “My Home’s In Alabama.” Owen lets the guests have the spotlight and revels in watching them. An exuberant “The Closer You Get” with The Eli Young Band is the best. Other standouts include the smooth harmonies in “Dixieland Delight/Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” audience participation amid “Song Of The South,” the poignant newer tune “All American” and romantic “Take Me Down.”

Bonus content – some of which was shown on CMT – includes “The Songs and The Stories,” “Influence and Inspiration,” “The Magic Of Alabama Live,” “Performing at the Ryman,” “The History and The Night,” “The Making of Alabama and Friends” and “Alabama Is…” with informative chats with the musicians and guests and behind the scenes footage.

Artist: Whitney Houston
Title: Live: Her Greatest Performances (Legacy)
The Lowdown: Hard to believe, but the superstar soul/pop singer never put out an official live release during her lifetime. This DVD/CD collection - culled from 17 TV specials, talk and award shows (plus a bonus music video) spanning 1983-2009 - partially fills that void.

The DVD opens with Houston mentor/record company head Clive Davis briefly talking up his new discovery on The Merv Griffin Show in 1983 before the already-posed 19-year-old sings “Home” from The Wiz. Even Johnny Carson is struck by Houston’s beauty while holding up an LP cover on The Tonight Show in 1985 prior to “You Give Good Love.”

Among the highlights on the David-produced discs: a reworked, piano only version of “The Greatest Love Of All” (from That’s What Friends Are For: Arista Records 15th Anniversary Concert,1990), the triumphant “The Star Spangled Banner” (Super Bowl XXV, 1991), which became an unexpected hit, a supremely soulful take on Leon Russell’s “A Song For You” (Welcome Home Heroes, 1991), the stunning Broadway and film medley of Medley: “I Loves You, Porgy/And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going/I Have Nothing” (Annual American Music Awards, 1994), “I’m Every Woman,” with young girl dancers and fireworks (The Concert For A New South Africa, 1994) and her best known number – “I Will Always Love You” (The Concert For A New South Africa, 1994) looking resplendent in African headdress.

Artist: Elton John
Title: The Million Dollar Piano (Eagle Vision)
The Lowdown: The Million Dollar Piano DVD and Blu-ray was shot in early 2012 over several nights of Elton John’s long-running residency at the Coliseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The Million Dollar Piano DVD and Blu-ray is a rousing nearly two-hour romp through decades of hits and a few surprises.

Taking the stage to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the Piano Man emerges in a silver cape and sparkling black outfit as his longtime band – including bassist Bob Birch, who passed away later in 2012 - immediately rocks out to “The Bitch is Back.” From there, John does a dramatic “Levon” and “Tiny Dancer” backed by string players and soulful female backing vocalists. He provides a little background on the specially built, one of a kind piano, then recalls writing “Your Song” with Bernie Taupin and “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” about New York City.

“Better off Dead,” from “Captain Fantastic…” and “Indian Sunset” prominently feature percussionist Ray Cooper (a frequent tour fixture over the years). Other standouts include “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” where fans are invited onstage.

Bonus material includes a fascinating 23-minute documentary “The Making of the Million Dollar Piano,” which details how Yamaha started developing the $4 million instrument idea in 2008 and all the steps to design it. Also, a 20-minute segment with four hit songs from a 2012 concert in the Ukraine tells the story behind concerts, shows close ups of fans singing along and dignitaries watching the festivities.  

Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: From the Vault: L.A. Forum 1975 (Eagle Vision)
The Lowdown: Part of a new series of restored archival concert releases with sound freshly mixed by Bob Clearmountain, From the Vault: L.A. Forum 1975 comes in a variety of formats: DVD, DVD/2CD, DVD/3LP and Digital Video.

The Stones were touring in support of “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” when they hit the Fabulous Forum in ’75. It was first tour with new guitarist Ronnie Wood. Billy Preston, who appeared on the LP, was also along for the ride and provided keyboards/backing vocals on tour. This gig came in the middle of a five night summer stand at the venerable Inglewood arena.    

Running 2 ½ hours, the DVD finds the British legends in ok form. Pre-show activities start with promoter Bill Graham and a costumed Chinese dragon (!) twisting about. Suddenly, a glam Mick Jagger – clad in bright pink jacket and wearing eye shadow - appears atop a folding pyramid stage for “Honky Tonk Women.” All the guys share vocals on the slinky blues “You Gotta Move.” Wood does a rippin’ solo during an extended “Gimme Shelter” and Jagger playfully pushes him amid “Tumbling Dice.” Keith Richards is sloppy on his own spotlight, “Happy.” By the seemingly never-ending finale “Sympathy for The Devil,” Jagger is in crazed vocal mode and invites fans onstage for a conga line. There are plenty of hits in between.

View a video of "Star Star" from L.A Forum - Live In 1975:

Also available: From The Vault – Hampton Coliseum – Live In 1981 (this one is in SD Blu-ray as well).

Title: The Rise and Fall of the Clash (Shout! Factory)
The Lowdown: If you’re interested in post-Mick Jones, Cut the Crap-era Clash, this 96-minute documentary from 2012 fills in some of the details.

There are latter-day interviews with Jones (droll as ever), erstwhile drummer Terry Chimes as well as members from the final 1983-86 incarnation: Nick Sheppard, Pete Howard and Vince White. Much of the narrative is focused on how manager Bernie Rhodes succumbed to megalomania and eventually ruined the band. Chimes says the guys toured too much. Jones describes the band as “a bunch of idiots thrust into the spotlight.” Southern California fans will revel in footage from a troubled appearance at the US Festival ’83, where a fistfight ensued and Jones never played with them again.   

Title: Vinyl (Shout! Factory)
The Lowdown: Vinyl is a fun British music comedy about a seasoned down-and-out punk rocker that gets back together with his old bandmates for a jam session. They record it and listen back, thinking there’s a hit diamond in the rough. Since all the record companies only want to sign hot young things though, the guys recruit some in their place and watch everything take off.

The story is inspired by true events: In 2004, The Alarm’s singer/guitarist Mike Peters put out the brash “45 RPM” as The Poppy Fields and fooled the UK record industry as the single charted at #24.

Phil Daniels (Quadrophenia, EastEnders, Blur’s “Park Life”) does a fine job in the lead role of Johnny Jones, as does Keith Allen (Trainspotting, 24 Hour Party People) as Jones’ reluctant former bandmate. Also noteworthy is a charismatic Jamie Blackley as the teenager front man. Both Peters and The Buzzcocks’ Steve Diggle have cameos. Director Sara Sugarman (Lindsay Lohan comedy “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”) was in a teenage band that Peters managed. The movie was shot around Wales.

Bonus material includes a five-minute featurette about the production, a music video, trailer and photo gallery.

Various Artists
Title: The Midnight Special (Time Life)
The Lowdown: Back in 1972, Grammy Awards telecast producer Burt Sugarman came up with the idea for a late live music TV show. Eccentric DJ Wolfman Jack was the presenter and frequent host on The Midnight Special, which aired at 1 a.m. on NBC following “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” There were also rotating guest hosts, with Helen Reddy taking the mantle for nearly a year. The show ran until 1981.

This latest DVD compilation is available in different configurations: an 11-disc set and 32-page collector’s book, a 6-disc set and as a single DVD. Each has new bonus material.

The six DVD set has selected highlights from 1-3 episodes each. Primarily pop, soul and mainstream rock, the highlights include: Linda Ronstadt’s plaintive “Long Long Time,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ “American Girl,” “Listen to Her Heart,” a energetic Hall & Oates medley of “She’s Gone/Sara Smile/Rich Girl” (with the audience sitting cross-legged on the floor!), ELO’s “Evil Woman” with a string trio, Fleetwood Mac’s “Over My Head,” The Cars’ “Best Friend’s Girl” (Ric Ocasek sports cool shades), Aerosmith’s “Train Kept-A-Rolling” (Steven Tyler can barely contain his enthusiasm on the small stage), Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” (Debbie Harry gives her best come hither stare), Loggins & Messina’s giddy “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” The Hollies’ “Long Cool Woman” (at a soundcheck with hardly any audience), a young baby-faced Sammy Hagar on “You Make Me Crazy,” AC/DC, Alice Cooper, The Kinks, Bee Gees and many more.    

A featurette on Wolfman has recent interviews with acts on the show and it’s interesting to see the camera work evolve from extreme artist close ups in the early years to more panoramic shots. 

Artist: Justin Hayward
Title: Live at the Buckland Theatre, Atlanta (Eagle Vision)
The Lowdown: Last year, the voice of The Moody Blues toured in support of the solo album Spirits of the Western Sky – his first in 17 years. On this DVD, Blu-ray, CD, and digital release, Hayward explains the genesis of many songs onstage in Georgia as director David Minasian unusually intercuts the proceedings with archival photos.

The 98-minute show opens with sonorous 1960s classic “Tuesday Afternoon.” Backed by a trio of musicians, the British veteran performs from his vast catalog of hits, rock radio staples and pleasant newer folk-based tunes. A sprightly “Your Wildest Dreams,” idyllic English story “Forever Autumn” (a #5 European single from 1978), the galloping “Question” where the crowd claps vigorously, “Nights in White Satin” (Hayward has no problem with the high vocal bits) and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” are standouts.

Bonus material consists of an hour-long documentary with behind the scenes tour footage and fan interviews. Of the tour, Hayward says, “there’s a sweetness and sensitivity now that I’ve never been able to achieve with The Moodys…this is what I’ve always dreamed of. I can hear every nuance of the vocals. It’s the most satisfying thing I’ve done.”

Artist: Jason Isbell
Title: Live at Austin City Limits (Southeastern)
The Lowdown: Before watching this stellar ACL episode on PBS-TV, I had read about Isbell’s post-Drive-By Truckers solo work, but never actually heard any of it. That all changed afterward. I immediately sought out the Americana artist’s excellent award-winning 2013 album Southeastern and predecessor, Here We Rest.

Isbell’s 15-song ACL performance with his band The 400 Unit includes material from both those releases. It is at various times captivating, heart-wrenching and just plain rocking (especially the humorous “Super 8” and set capping take on the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”). Highly recommended.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Juliana Hatfield Three reunite for album, tour

The Juliana Hatfield Three – with the original lineup of Todd Philips (drums), Dean Fisher (bass) and Juliana Hatfield (guitar, vocals, keyboards, percussion) – announce a U.S. tour beginning in February.

The tour comes on the heels of their much anticipated sophomore album Whatever, My Love available Feb. 17 on American Laundromat Records.

Whatever, My Love comes 21 years after the release of its Atlantic Records debut Become What You Are which secured a permanent place in alternative rock history with the radio hits “My Sister” and “Spin The Bottle.”
Track List:

1. Invisible
2. Now That I Have Found You
3. Ordinary Guy
4. If Only We Were Dogs
5. I'm Shy
6. Dog On A Chain
7. If I Could
8. Push Pin
9. Blame The Stylist
10. I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands
11. Wood
12. Parking Lots 

Tour Dates:

February 26 PORTLAND, ME Port City Music Hall
February 27 BOSTON, MA The Sinclair
March 1 NEW YORK, NY The Bowery Ballroom
March 3 PHILADELPHIA, PA Boot & Saddle
March 4 WASHINGTON, DC Black Cat
March 6 CLEVELAND, OH Music Box Supper Club
March 7 CHICAGO, IL Lincoln Hall
March 8 ST. PAUL, MN Turf Club
March 11 SEATTLE, WA Tractor Tavern
March 12 PORTLAND, OR Doug Fir Lounge
March 14 NAPA, CA City Winery Napa
March 15 SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Chapel
March 16 LOS ANGELES, CA The Roxy Theatre

Never Shout Never announce acoustic mini-tour

Alternative pop band Never Shout Never - AKA Christofer Drew and his band - has announced a 2015 North American jaunt, called the "Mid Winter's Night's Dream Acoustik Tour." It will begin in February and marks their first US tour in over a year.

The band recently completed their third tour of Brazil and released a music video of their song "Wild Child" as a documentary of the tour. A new album is due in early 2015 on Warner Brothers Records.

VIP Presales for the tour available now via Artist Arena and includes Meet and Greet Package and more. General Tickets are available today from noon local time. VIP packages will include a ticket to the show, an exclusive and limited Spring Tour Poster Signed by the band, exclusive tour laminate, and access to the band's meet and greet prior to the show.

North American 2015 Tour Dates:

Feb 20 - The Troubadour - West Hollywood, CA
Feb 24 - Club Sound - Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 25 - Marquis Theatre - Denver, CO
Feb 28 - Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL
Mar 1 - The Loft - Lansing, MI
Mar 3 - Grog Shop - Cleveland Heights, OH
Mar 4 - The Mod Club Theatre - Toronto, ON
Mar 6 - The Marlin Room at Webster Hall - New York, NY
Mar 7 - Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA

Colin Hay album and tour news

Since I had the pleasure of doing an in-person interview with Hay a couple years ago (find it elsewhere on this blog), I'm very interested in hearing this. Read on for more info...

Colin Hay, best known as frontman, songwriter, and vocalist of '80s pop sensation Men at Work (“Down Under,” “Overkill,” “Who Can it Be Now?”), has confirmed the Feb. 17 release of a new solo album entitled Next Year People on Compass Records.

Some of the songs are based on Colin's personal experiences such as "Waiting in the Rain," written about his parents and the almost mystical experience he had growing up in a music shop in Scotland, surrounded by instruments and a constant stream of 1950s and '60s radio hits.

The album's title track, "Next Year People," is an homage to the depression-era farmers who kept going by holding on to hope that next year would be better. "They kept doing the same thing and expecting a different result," explains Colin. "I can relate, although their situation was so much more bleak." (
Hear the track here:
People - the Aussie musician's first studio release in four years - was produced by Hay and includes contributions from Cuban musicians San Miguel Perez and Yosmel Montejo, both of whom recently emigrated from Havana, as well Larry Goldings on piano, Jeff Babko (Jimmy Kimmel) on B3, and Colin's wife, vocalist Cecilia Noel.

Over the past 15 years, Hay has reinvented himself as a solo artist, regularly selling out theaters and listening rooms across the US and around the world and introducing himself to a new generation of fans in the process.

Frequent use of his music in TV and film—including hit shows such as Scrubs (on which he has made several cameo appearances) Army Wives and Modern Family, the hit soundtrack to the film Garden State and the recently released Words and Pictures—has proven the timeless appeal of his songs.

Tour Dates:

2/12-13 – Nashville, TN – City Winery
2/16-18 – New York, NY – City Winery
2/20-22 – Chicago, IL – City Winery
3/9 – Tucson, AZ – The Rialto Theatre
3/10-11 – Phoenix, AZ – Musical Instrument Museum
3/13 – Poway, CA – Poway Center for the Performing Arts
3/15 – Fresno, CA – Tower Theatre
3/17 – China, CA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
3/19 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
3/20 – Napa, CA – City Winery
3/21 – San Francisco, CA – Palace of Fine Arts
3/22 – Sacramento, CA – Crest Theatre
3/25 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
3/26-27 – Seattle, WA – Benaroya Hall
3/28 – Yakima, WA – Seasons Performing Hall
3/29 – Walla Walla, WA – Main Street Studio
3/31 – Sun Valley, ID – Sun Valley Opera House
4/4 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre

Album Track Listing:

1. Trying to Get to You
2. If I Had Been a Better Man
3. Did You Just Take the Long Way Home?
4. I Want You Back
5. Next Year People
6. Lived in Vain
7. Scattered in the Sand
8. To There from Here
9. Mr. Grogan
10. Waiting in the Rain

Bonus Tracks–CD Edition Only
11. Are We There Yet? - 3.49
12. Lament for Whisky McManus - 3.35

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jamie Cullum U.S. tour and album news

Blue Note Records recording artist Jamie Cullum will kick off 2015 with a headline tour that introduces audiences to his new album, Interlude, which will be released in the U.S. on January 27.

Cullum, who is the best-selling jazz artist in U.K. history, will launch the run with an intimate show at Largo in Los Angeles on Jan. 24. For his February dates, which include an evening at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on February 5, he will be backed by a big band. Cullum recently supported Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden and Penn State and will return to the Garden on Dec. 18 and Jan. 9 to open for him. He will also open Joel’s arena concerts in Dallas (Jan. 22) and Miami (Jan. 31). See below for itinerary.

Fans can see Cullum performing a pair of tracks from Interlude live at France’s 2014 Jazz à Vienne festival:

Interlude marks a shift to straight-ahead jazz and a return to interpretation from an artist who has made a habit of bending genres, writing original material and bringing new sounds and new listeners to the music.

Working with producer Benedic Lamdin of Nostalgia 77, Cullum selected a number of jewels from the American songbook, including the title track, which was penned by Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Paparelli, and added a couple of modern surprises.

Fans who pre-order the digital album on will instantly receive “My One and Only Love” plus the first single, “Good Morning Heartache” featuring Laura Mvula, and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” featuring Gregory Porter. Interlude can be pre-ordered on Amazon in CD and vinyl formats.

Cullum is the subject of a cover story in the December issue of JazzTimes. A keen amateur photographer, Jamie invited Michael Agel of Leica Camera to accompany him on tour in the U.S. earlier this year. Their photographs – and some from Cullum’s personal collection – are showcased in the exhibit “Life and Music,” which just opened at the Leica Studio-S in London.

U.S. Tour Dates:

12/18 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden – with Billy Joel

1/9 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden – with Billy Joel
1/22 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center – with Billy Joel
1/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Largo – headline show
1/31 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena – with Billy Joel
2/3 – Boston, MA @ Berklee Performance Center – headline show
2/4 – Glenside, PA @ Keswick Theatre – headline show
2/5 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre – headline show
2/6 – Washington, DC @ Lincoln Theatre – headline show
2/8 – Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Symphony Hall – headline show
2/9 – San Francisco, CA @ Palace of Fine Arts – headline show
2/10 – Seattle, WA @ The Moore – headline show

DEVO "Hardcore Live!" audio/video release and LA screening

"The Hardcore show for DEVO was like relocating a tail you misplaced a lifetime ago."
- Mark Mothersbaugh

DEVO was among the most thought-provoking bands to emerge in the aftermath of punk, but before hits like "Whip It," they worked in the basements and garages of Akron, Ohio to make raw, unfiltered music that the group called "hardcore DEVO."

This past summer, DEVO did 10 shows performing these seminal pre-fame songs, created between 1974-77 and rarely played since then. Shot at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif., DEVO "Hardcore Live!" will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, CD, and vinyl Feb. 10.

The concert film captures these groundbreaking artists performing the songs that started it all, interwoven with interviews revealing the history of the band. In total, these 21 oddities serve as a tribute to departed, original DEVO bandmate, Robert "Bob 2" Casale. 
A special screening event will be held on Jan. 17 at 7:30 PM at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard - Hollywood, CA 90028). A discussion with director Keirda Bahruth, co-producer Rick Ballard, and DEVO members Mark Mothersbaugh, Gerald V. Casale, and Bob Mothersbaugh will follow.

KC and The Sunshine Band celebrate 1960s on new album

KC and The Sunshine Band dominated the 1970s, ruling the airwaves with a unique meeting of Caribbean, pop, R&B and latin styles that inspired infectious grooves and the distinctive Sunshine Sound, producing such #1 hits as “Get Down Tonight,” “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “Boogie Shoes,” "Shake Your Booty,” and more.

Before he made the world dance to his music, Harry Wayne “KC” Casey was, like the rest of America, being shaped by the music, conflicts, innocence, sex, social and political movements and counterculture of the 1960s.

“The widespread social and political issues of the 1960s was, in part, the inspiration to do something that would make people forget about their problems and be happy,” said Casey. “People were looking for something that would divert their attention from the negative aspects of everyday life surrounding them.”

KC and The Sunshine Band pays tribute to the era on March 10 with Feeling You! The 60's. The album - the act's first studio effort since 2007 - is part one of the two-part Feeling You project, features covers of songs by sixties legends Bob Dylan, Ben E. King, The Kinks, The Righteous Brothers, Jackie DeShannon, Aaron Neville and many more (full track listing below).

“I’m excited for my fans to hear this album,” said Casey. “I really went outside of the box vocally and creatively. Feeling You! The 60's is autobiographical, showing how I feel about love, life and the world through the music of that era.”

Track Listing:

(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me (4:12)
Oh How Happy (2:58)
Dreams (5:29)
Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu (2:51)
Words (3:03)
You Really Got A Hold On Me (3:12)
Both Sides Now (4:03)
Tell It Like It Is (3:08)
Blowin’ In The Wind (5:06) Feat. The Unity On The Bay Choir
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling (4:22) Feat. Jason Scheff
You Really Got Me (2:32)
Sweet Soul Music (2:11)
I Hear A Symphony (4:44)
Stand By Me (5:31)
You Keep Me Hanging On (3:35)
Bring It On Home (3:50)
Put A Little Love In Your Heart (3:43)

Tour dates:

12.27.2014 Paragon Casino Resort / Marksville, LA
12.31.2014 The Venetian / Macao, China
01.22.2014 Community Arts Center / Williamsport, PA
01.23.2015 NYCB Theatre at Westbury / Westbury, NY
01.24.2015 Valley Forge Casino / King of Prussia, PA
02.25.2015 Soul Train Cruise / San Juan, PR
03.20.2015 Hard Rock Hotel and Casino / Hollywood, FL
08.08.2015 Tropicana / Atlantic City, NJ
08.29.2015 Monticello Grand Casino / Santiago, Chile
08.30.2015 Monticello Grand Casino / Santiago, Chile